By wearing a little red poppy in the lead-up to Remembrance Day, Ballarat residents will help support current and former defence force members in need.
Ballarat’s Red Poppy Appeal starts today, with volunteers selling poppies at supermarkets and shopping centres around the city.
Ballarat RSL appeals officer Tom Atkins said the annual initiative was an important means of raising funds for veterans’ welfare.
“We often get people coming in needing a hand if they’re going through a rough time,” he said.
“With what’s going on in Afghanistan, there could be even more requests for help from the RSL.” He said the organisation hoped to surpass last year’s figure of $30,000 worth of poppies sold in Ballarat.
Red poppies were among the first plants to bloom in the devastated battlefields of northern France and Belgium after the conflict had ended.
They ultimately became an emblem symbolising those who had fallen in times of war.
Mr Atkins said every year ex-service men and women, their families and friends got behind the fundraiser by volunteering a few hours of their time to selling red poppies on behalf of the RSL.
Anyone who would like to volunteer to help the cause can contact the Ballarat RSL on 5332 3300 between 10am and 4pm weekdays.